Well if you read the interweb too much it’ll range from, it’s too crowded there’s nothing to see there what’s all the fuss about, through to it’s the bestest thing evaaa!, and, an opportunity to engage in mortal hand to hand combat over the use of assorted bags to carry ‘stuff’ in. It is of course a mix of all three to varying degrees. You can of course use the exhibition as a really good place to find lots of things and people you want to speak to all in one place. This year I’d got a bit more time on my hands than I’ve had in past years, and was able to look around the layouts. Myself and a few others I spoke to on the day and subsequently, felt the choice and quality of layouts was better than in recent years. Of them ‘Minories’ in 18.83 Scalefour by Howard Bolton really took my eye.
Staying pretty faithful to the original Cyril Freezer design, Howard has placed his layout in Southern Electric territory and whilst shown as work in progress it looked superb. The inner London and third rail really suit this design, and it’s also interesting to see third rail and semaphore signals modelled so convincingly.
Having been working on a few varied projects of late I wanted to crack on with a layout project, and Minories and a couple of others have reignited that spark. One of the projects has been an SR layout based around a typical Ian Futers design which recently has been on the back burner. One element of the plan had been the track layout and it’s appearance at the station throat.
For me the look wasn’t right, and after an hour or so of thinking, I tore up the two head shunt sidings and realigned them as in the two pictures here. This has improved the appearance of the train moves too with the snaking through the station throat and head shunt sidings. There’ll be a lot of walls by Wills by the time this ones done.
This has given a far better look to the station throat, and consequently spurred me on to continue and complete the layout. Final location hasn’t been decided yet, whether to do it as an urban terminus as Howard’s Minories is, or as a suburban commuter terminus possibly adjacent to Biggin Hill. The latter is my current preferred option, modelling a truncated line, in a cutting in Autumn. The stock and track plan potentially allow this layout to be tried in a peninsula style, having seen and operated Pete Kirmonds Laramie https://laramieengineterminal.com and this well presented narrow gauge layout at Warley, ‘Saint Amis sur Mer’ that possibility is also churning away for the presentation.
I also caught up with a very good friend and his sketch book who has a brilliant design for a similar long view, peninsular type presentation. Just build it matey, just build it!
So, Warley. Is it as bad as you read on the interweb? No it isn’t. Over the two days there are in the order of 15,000 visitors. Out of those about five have a problem with acting like an adult and have to demonstrate that across the internet, and twelve think that car parking should be free like it is at the village hall show. The rest of us just get on with it.
Oh and the show wouldn’t be a show without a gratuitous reference to a Pannier tank post. Well I got the final 97xx body I’ve been waiting for to go on a topless chassis, which one to choose though? It’s a tough life..